Microsoft commits to open app stores as consolidation concerns increase

Microsoft commits to open app stores as consolidation concerns increase

Tech and games giant Microsoft has published a set of principles for how it is approaching its app stores in the face of concerns about consolidation within the games space.

In a post on its website, the company said that it would continue to allow any developers use its platform, while also making sure that products on its service meet security standards. The Big M says that it will be holding its own products to the same standards as third parties.

Microsoft has also committed to keep Call of Duty available on other platforms in the wake of its plans to buy Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion.

"Ultimately, we believe that this principled approach will promote a more open app market and better serve our users and creators alike," Microsoft president and vice-chair Brad Smith wrote.

"And, in turn, they will help us build a bigger and better gaming business.

Here is the full list of principles that Microsoft announced: 

Quality, Safety, Security & Privacy

1. We will enable all developers to access our app store as long as they meet reasonable and transparent standards for quality and safety.

2. We will continue to protect the consumers and gamers who use our app store, ensuring that developers meet our standards for security.

3. We will continue to respect the privacy of consumers in our app stores, giving them controls to manage their data and how it is used.


4. We will hold our own apps to the same standards we hold competing apps.

5. We will not use any non-public information or data from our app store to compete with developers' apps.

Fairness and Transparency

6. We will treat apps equally in our app store without unreasonable preferencing or ranking of our apps or our business partners' apps over others.

7. We will be transparent about rules for promotion and marketing in our app store and apply these consistently and objectively.

Developer Choice

8. We will not require developers in our app store to use our payment system to process in-app payments.

9. We will not require developers in our app store to provide more favorable terms in our app store than in other app stores.

10. We will not disadvantage developers if they choose to use a payment processing system other than ours or if they offer different terms and conditions in other app stores.

11. We will not prevent developers from communicating directly with their customers through their apps for legitimate business purposes, such as pricing terms and product or service offerings.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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